Manchester City’s season had been under much scrutiny from fans and pundits around the globe. The season had potential to become one of the greatest in the club’s history, better yet, any club in English history.
The quest for a treble seemed like a reality in early January when City was closing in on Leicester City for the top spot. City has famously struggled in the winter months, as several matches that should have been easy wins turned into astounding losses. But just because the Premier League title didn’t happen for City doesn’t mean that the club had a poor season. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look back at what the club has accomplished during the 2015/16 season.
Manchester City had a chance to get a quadruple at one point this season with the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, and Capital One Cup competitions alive and well. Obviously, City did not win all of those competitions and only lifted the Capital One Cup, which is an impressive trophy to win in and of itself. However, the Premier League and FA Cup did not pan out as planned as some poor scheduling of matches that could not be moved interfered with the team’s’ Champions League matches. Manuel Pellegrini famously played a squad the featured predominately youth players who received their first cap for the team in an FA Cup match against Chelsea that knocked City out of the cup. The gamble paid off as City would move on in the Champions League.
The FA Cup was pushed aside quickly as City saw a real shot at winning the Champions League while their Premier League title hopes fell by the wayside as Leicester and Tottenham pulled away from the pack. City made it all the way into the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid and only missed out on the final thanks to away goal difference. If City had scored one more goal, the club would have been playing in front of the entire world against Atletico Madrid.
The Premier League was not ever going to happen for City it seems after a late run of bad results cost them a chance to get 2nd. On the final day, the Citizens could have finished anywhere from 5th to 3rd depending on how Arsenal and Manchester United finished. Arsenal ended up winning while Tottenham lost which put the Gunners into 2nd, Tottenham 3rd, City drew to secure 4th (final Champions League spot), while Manchester United finished in 5th.
Looking back on the season as whole, I would say Manchester City’s season would have to go down as a successful disappointment. The club barely made the Champions League for next season and crashed out of the FA Cup in the 5th round. But on the other side, City reached the Champions League semifinal and had genuine shot at playing for the title, while also winning the Capital One Cup. Even though most will see the season as a failure, any season where you secure Champions League soccer next season, overcome a massive number of injuries to key players, and win a trophy is a great season in my book.
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